Thinkabit World of Work and Robocrafting Labs

The mission of the Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™ at Virginia Tech, National Capital Region, is to serve Washington, D.C. area students, teachers, administrators, parents, and collaborators in technical career exploration and the hands-on electronic and programming foundations of IOT and Smart Cities sensors, actuators, and data collection and analysis. In doing so, we are preparing our future STEM workforce and our increasingly diverse, technology-driven community for jobs that may not yet exist. VT-Thinkabit will work with like-minded teams, organizations and individuals interested in promoting curiosity, innovation, creativity, and students’ self-actualization and self-determination.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Anfal is Urban Alliance's Intern of the Week!

Our wonderful, reliable intern, Anfal Afrah was recognized by Urban Alliance as their Intern of the Week.

Anfal is a Senior at Jeb Stuart High School (soon to be Justice HS) in Fairfax County. She has been interning at the Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™ at Virginia Tech since October.  Anfal works collaboratively with her lab partner and classmate Faiza Aadan, and their individual strengths complement each other nicely. Both are interested in health careers and are in LPN training programs, and planning to continue at Northern Virginia Community College next Fall We look forward to Anfal's arrival at work each day. 

Anfal also takes care of several younger siblings, and even brings them to the Lab on her days off while she works on college plans.





Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Northern Virginia Center is closing at 5pm on Tuesday, March 21


Image result for inclement weather


Due to inclement weather, our building will be closed to visitors after 5:30pm tonight.  We'll be in the Lab until that time.  Sorry for the surprise!


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Alexandria and Arlington CTAE Joint Advisory Committee Meeting

In the culinary arts kitchen at TC Williams High School, where Chef Craig Scheuerman and his students hosted our joint Career & Technical Education meeting between the Arlington and Alexandria advisory committees. We reviewed data on internships and discussed a web tool to connect students with employers, while enjoying an excellent dinner made by the students. Leaders from business and labor included Dennis Desmond of LiUNA, supporting CTE. Thank you to David Remick for organizing, and Sherri Chapman and Kris Martini for bringing our advisory committees together. And thanks to ACPS School Board member Ronnie Campbell for joining us for dinner and supporting Career & Technical Education.


Monday, March 12, 2018

Community talk on Arlington's smart and secure future

REGISTER HERE.

Wed, March 14, 2018,  6:00 PM – 8:00 PM EDT
Arlington County Government

2100 Clarendon Boulevard, 3rd Floor

Join Arlington County CIO Jack Belcher, staff and industry leaders for a community talk on the impact that the Digital Revolution will have on shaping Arlington for a smart and secure future.
Arlington has a long tradition of smart community planning. Explore the increasing role that technology is playing in defining what attributes and amenities will continue to attract people to live, work, and play in our community. The event will include:
  • 6:00 - 6:30 PM - Networking and Light Refreshments
  • 6:30 - 8:00 PM - Panel discussion
This is the sixth event in Arlington County’s Digital Destiny campaign, that explores the impact of the Digital Revolution on defined aspects of life and what it will mean for the future of Arlington, its residents and the business community.

Deep Learning Analytics recognized a fourth year in a row

Our partner Deep Learning Analytics has been recognized again for its growth and diversity.

Deep Learning Analytics Named Arlington ‘Fast Four’ Company for Third Year in a Row


Startup Monday header
Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.comStartup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.
(Updated at 12:05 p.m.) John Kaufhold had been working at NIH doing deep learning research, but realized he’d be better off working on his own.
So he quit his job in May of 2013 and began Deep Learning Analytics, which is currently based in Rosslyn, just a month later.
Deep learning finds patterns in data. Some examples of deep learning and artificial intelligence are Siri, when the technology learns a user’s voice and transcribes his or her words, and self-driving cars that learn roads and driving patterns over time.
At Deep Learning Analytics, data scientists specifically focus on the content of images, Kaufhold said. In other words, they find things in images and say what they are.
“You can do that in medical, supply chain management, you can do that in biology, you can do that in defense applications. So there are plenty of applications where you can get a lot of economic value from you have an image and then you have to say what’s in it,” Kaufhold said.
Some of the first projects Deep Learning Analytics worked on included analyzing combat casualty care and predicting school dropouts for Arlington Public Schools.
One of the biggest and most surprising projects the startup won was a government program by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) on analyzing radar images. DARPA was having a problem looking

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Building your own computer input devices

Makey Makey is a great tool for helping learners of all ages appreciate the broad scope of input devices that could become widely useful in a 5G wireless environment.  Our 9th grade intern Maddy led a workshop today for our CyberJutsu Girls camp and the results were terrific.

More on the Women's Society of  CyberJutsu and the Girls Academy:
 https://womenscyberjutsu.org/

More on Makey Makey kits:  https://makeymakey.com/

Friday, March 9, 2018

Part-time Instructor Positions

Please share this with any terrific teachers/former teachers in your DC/Northern Virginia circles who might be interested in part-time instructor roles at our Lab at the VT/UVA campus at West Falls Church metro. Positions are available this Spring and early Summer, but also again in August/September.

No grades or paperwork, but lots of innovation and optional research opportunities. We also help to build maker spaces in regional schools.

We're looking for great instructors (who genuinely, demonstrably enjoy working with kids) interested in working 8 to 20 hours a week, primarily 9:30am to 1:30pm, and also with options for those interested in occasional afternoons and Saturdays. Most positions will be 2-3 days per week. Lab visitors are from age 6 to over 70 (but most are 4th-9th grades, teachers, and HS interns).

You'll learn a lot of new skills that are very relevant to new and proposed public school requirements for computer science, technology and engineering education, arts integration, technical career exploration, robotics and maker space design and instruction. We will also help licensed teachers expand your teacher certifications.

Interested teachers can apply through the formal university process.

Assistant Instructor position(s) - https://listings.jobs.vt.edu/postings/84466

Lead Instructor position(s) - https://listings.jobs.vt.edu/postings/84467


For more information, contact Thinkabit@vt.edu

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Poe Middle School STEAM Lab

Jessica Ittayem and her students are teaching us all kinds of new things in their Poe MS STEAM Lab, one of our first "Inspired by Qualcomm" Labs.  Her approach to Project-Based Learning hits all the metrics of student voice and choice, real -world problems, student autonomy, and real audiences.

Their ongoing weather unit featured a visit by WJLA/ABC 7 meteorologist Veronica Johnson.




Day 2 (of probably 3 or more) of 3D Printer Building

Our colleagues in Fairfax County Libraries invited us to participate in 3D printer building in January and then again today.  We're using the Build notes provided by NOVA Labs, of which we're active members.

Library staff meet in our Lab monthly and explore a wide variety of technologies relevant to IOT, Smart Cities, and our future workforce.


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Instructor Opportunities at our Lab!


Human Resources published our instructor position descriptions today!

Please share this with any terrific teachers/former teachers in your DC / Northern Virginia circles who might be interested in part-time instructor roles at our Lab at the VT/UVA campus at West Falls Church metro. Positions are available this Spring and early Summer, but also again in August/September, and interested teachers can interview now regardless of their immediate availability.

No grades or paperwork, or planning, but lots of innovation and optional research opportunities. We also help to build maker spaces in regional schools.

We're looking for great instructors (who genuinely, demonstrably enjoy working with kids) interested in working 8 to 20 hours a week. We can offer flexibility in how that might work, but primarily 9:30am to 1:30pm, and also with options for someone interested in occasional afternoons and Saturdays. Most positions will be 2-3 days per week, also with the flexibility of alternating or skipping weeks. We can also provide week-to-week flexibility for other priorities and travel.

Lab visitors are from age 6 to over 70 (but most are 4th-9th grades).

You'll learn a lot of new skills that are very relevant to new and proposed school requirements for computer science, technology and engineering education, arts integration, technical career exploration, and maker space design and instruction.

Apply through the formal university process but please also let the Director (see below) know you applied.

Assistant Instructor position(s)https://listings.jobs.vt.edu/postings/84466

Lead Instructor position(s) - https://listings.jobs.vt.edu/postings/84467

To get more information, please contact
Jim Egenrieder, Research Faculty and Director,  JimE@vt.edu  or  571-482-8298